New York City officials are creating a first line of defense against terrorists looking to injure and kill pedestrians with vehicles by installing bollards.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday that the city plans on spending $50 million to protect New Yorkers and tourists with the protective barriers.
De Blasio cited the Halloween terror attack in Manhattan for the decision to begin adding more than 1,500 bollards to the city this month. Eight people were killed and a dozen injured when a man rammed a rented pickup truck into pedestrians and bikers on the bike path of the Hudson River Greenway.
"These are some of the busiest streets in the world—people have to be able to get around, but they have to be safe at the same time," de Blasio said during a news conference.
The attack was the deadliest in New York since 9/11. Two days after the attack, officials were quick to act, installing concrete blocks to the path to keep vehicles out. The city now plans on adding the metal bollards.
"Almost every large city is considering it now," Rob Reiter, pedestrian safety expert, told Newsweek. "New York is the biggest target there is."
New York City officials plan on installing the barrier posts around the city and in Times Square.
"These bollards will make sure vehicles can never come into places where pedestrians are," de Blasio said at the conference.
New York City is not the first heavily trafficked city to take action against vehicle-related terrorist attacks.
Las Vegas officials have spent millions adding bollards to protect pedestrians along the Strip. County officials are considering adding more bollards at a cost of $2.5 million after the city already implemented 800 bollards earlier this year.
"This is a great evolution of security plans," Reiter said. "This will increase safety for everyone."
The October terror attack in New York came after the Islamic State militant group released a video in May calling for supporters to perform knife and vehicle attacks on Americans. The video included pictures of major U.S. cities, including Las Vegas.
Car ramming attacks have taken lives all across the globe, from Barcelona to Charlottesville to Berlin. In August, a van rammed into a highly trafficked Barcelona tourist area, injuring more than 100 people and leaving 13 people dead.
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